Pre-Purchase Survey – Organising Survey

Is it possible to make Survey without Sale Contract? – It is usually possible to make survey without signing sale contract and paying deposit but the survey is usually limited to inspection as-is without moving the yacht. After signing the sale contract, sea trial or lifting/launching would then be possible. Of course if there is no sale contract the yacht could be purchased by another buyer while you consider it.

Is it recommended to make Sale Contract before seeing the yacht? – It is preferable for someone to see the yacht (whether you or your friend or your surveyor) before making signing contract.

Can you do brief preliminary inspections? – It is better to instruct to make a full inspection as-is (whether afloat or ashore) spending about 3 hours and to limit the report at that stage to a defect list and all the photos provided in a folder online.

What should the lift schedule be?

  • If the yacht is already ashore then one hour is required prior to launch for the required parts of the ashore inspection.
  • If the yacht is to be launched and then hauled again the same day it is probably necessary to launch in the morning.
  • If the yacht is to be hauled and held by the crane for inspection then 20 -30 minutes is satisfactory for small yachts and 1 hour for large yachts (over 60ft).
  • If the hull has significant marine growth it is best for diver cleaning before the sea trial and lift because pressure wash may not be available and anyway the pressure wash will remove soft ablative type antifouling.
  • Insurance Survey

    What is the difference between Insurance Survey and Pre-Purchase Survey? – Insurance Survey has only the Recommendations (Insurance Defects such as fire and safety, structural, operational) whilst Pre-Purchase Survey includes also the Suggestions (Non Insurance Defects such as cosmetic or maintenance items).

    Is it possible for Insurance Survey only Afloat? – It is likely that the insurance will require ashore survey and only for very large yachts will permit only afloat survey. This requires checking with your insurance.

    If I do not bother to fix the insurance defects what will happen? In case that you will make a claim for damage/loss, the insurance may request their surveyor to check not only the damage but whether you corrected the defects and if not try to deny your claim on that basis. Certainly if an uncorrected defect was related to the damage/loss then it could cause problems.

    Will the Insurance require Surveyor to Revisit to check the defects completed? – It depends on the Insurer and the severity of the defects. Provision of photo/invoice for each defect may be satisfactory to avoid the cost of revisit.

    Pre-Purchase Survey – Acceptance / Rejection

    What defects should I ask the sellers to take care of? – You can ask for the entire survey list and see what their response is. Cosmetics / Wear and Tear are normally excluded from negotiations and are buyers expense (unless it is significant damage rather than wear and tear).

    The yacht and equipment should be as described in the sale contract / inventory and working. Anything missing or removed would require to be provided or a discount offered. Anything difficult where the repair cost cannot be determined without removals (for instance structural repairs) should not be left to the account of buyers because the final cost may be unexpectedly large, especially for inexperienced new owners.

    If there is not sale contract, the broker advertisement is usually not binding but lowering the offer would be appropriate if major items not included.

    If the sellers are local and especially if they are charter managers, it is cheaper for them to give repairs than discount. Of course the quality of the repairs and the process requires checking. In the end it depends on the offer. If it was low and sellers had already reached their limit then no further discount or repairs may be accepted.

    Some sale contracts exclude safety items (lifejackets, pyrotechnics) from negotiations.